Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Desserts & Baked Goods

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

12 servings


30 minutes

active time

1 hour 5 minutes

total time


2-3 lemons (whole )

3 tablespoons butter

⅓ cup granulated sugar

2 lemons (zested)

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs (room temperature)

½ cup olive oil (see notes)

¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup greek yogurt

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 cups all purpose flour (240g)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder


Lemon Bottom

Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Line the bottom of an 8” square baking pan with a square of parchment paper. Make sure that the baking pan you’re using doesn’t have a removable bottom.

Prepare a clean and dry cutting board and a sharp knife. Cut the ends off a lemon. Stand the lemon up on its end and cut the rind off in a square, forming a rectangular log. Lay the log down on its side and cut into thin slices using a sawing motion, removing any seeds as you go.

Repeat with the rest of the lemons. You will need 2 to 3 lemons depending on the size of the lemons. Save the excess pieces of lemon to make lemon tea or lemonade.

Place butter inside the parchment lined pan and put it into the preheating oven to melt down for a minute. As soon as it’s melted, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle sugar in an even layer on top of the butter.

Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the pan, keeping the slices as close to each other as possible. Set aside while you work on the cake batter.

Cake Batter

In a large bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar. Rub it together with your fingers until fragrant and the sugar looks like wet sand.

Add eggs into the lemon sugar and whisk with a wire whisk until it starts to get frothy, about 45 seconds.

Add olive oil, lemon juice, vanilla, greek yogurt, and salt into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine.

Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Fold gently with a whisk until no more dry streaks of flour remain.

Pour the batter on top of the baking pan with the lemon slices in the bottom.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. It’s ready when the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached.

Remove the cake from the baking pan and let cool for 10 minutes. Place your serving cake on top of the baking pan, flip the whole thing over, tap or wiggle the cake if needed until you feel it drop, and remove the baking pan to reveal the lemon slices. Peel off the parchment paper and slice and serve at room temperature.

12 servings


30 minutes

active time

1 hour 5 minutes

total time
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